Avigdor Lieberman
Avigdor LiebermanIsrael News photo: (Flash 90)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday that the international community should give Iran three months to respond to diplomatic attempts to curtail its nuclear program – and afterwards take “concrete steps" against Iran.

The Israeli Foreign Minister is on a visit to Europe which includes stops in France, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Lieberman emphasized that Israel wants to continue negotiating with the Palestinian Authority but that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government will take a more moderate approach to negotiations and focus more on developing the PA economy.

The Foreign Minister, who extended to Berlusconi an invitation from Netanyahu to visit Israel, also asked Berlusconi to convince Russia to end its ties with Hamas and Hizbullah, saying that they are “terrorist groups which act against Western interests in the Middle East.” He explained that pro-Western Arab regimes such as Egypt and Lebanon are also threatened by Hamas and Hizbullah.

Russia has invested heavily in the nuclear program in Iran, which is a close ally of the two terrorist organizations. Russian arms frequently have found their way to Hamas and Hizbullah via Syria and Iran, and the Israeli army was surprised in the Second Lebanon War three years ago by Hizbullah's use of advanced Russian-made anti-tank rockets that caused dozens of deaths.